As human beings we rely on the touch of another human being for support, for comfort, for reassurance. As children we hold our parents hand and allow them to guide us through the world. When that human touch is taken away, or refused it can have serious psychological impacts to our mental and emotional welfare.
So have a think about the Covid lockdown......many people live on their own; I am one. Now think of the lack of human contact we are all now being enforced to live, day by day. We can no longer hug our friends, shake hands with new people we meet, or hold someones hand to give them comfort and support at times of grief and suffering.
So one of the ways I am personally continuing my contact with another being is holding the life of Mother Earth in the palm of my hands, daily. On my day to day walks I will spend more time than I normally would, touching trees, new buds, flowers, soil, moss, spiders....feeling that connection with another being, feeling the energy of life through another being, making me feel very much alive and supported.
Connecting in to the natural world is such a big emotional and mental boost to all our well-being. Spending time in nature, especially now with the bursting forth of new growth, allows our bodies to reset, to breathe, to become still and just be.
How many of you have held a flower or plant in the palm of your hand and really looked at that plant......macro-seeing. When you stop and allow yourself to simply see the detail in the life around you, it is like stepping through to an unseen world of awe and wonderment.
Some of the photos added to this blog are the macro-seeing of the natural world. The symmetry of the Fern as it slowly unfurls with all that wonderful potential for the year ahead; or perhaps the symmetry of the Field Maple, or Nettle as the leaves grow in pairs as they continue to grow up through the forest floor; or the striking Hawthorn flower with its dusty pollen on the stamens of the flower awaiting for that bee to come and collect its nectar.
I've also included a couple of pictures of lichen.....something I adore. Spend time looking on the branches of trees and stones for these amazing havens of life....and look at the symmetry, the colours, the life that these very tiny algae and fungi exhibit.
The natural world holds so many wonders and we just need to stop and look.
When I teach my students Plant Spirit Medicine the first teaching is always to stop (be still), look (see from the heart), and listen (to the plant and to the world around the plant). Then start to look with childlike awe and wonder at the majesty of the plant. With eyes wide open there is so much to see and comprehend; and once we really see with the eyes, we learn to 'see' with the heart. Once they have mastered the art of really 'seeing', the next step is to hold that plant in the palm of their hands, or cup the plant with their hands....to feel the energy of that plant, the life-force of the plant. To understand that a tiny fern, or nettle leaf holds the power of the whole plant, and the earth and air around it; the medicine/teaching the plant has to offer becomes a powerful lesson...one of gratitude and honour.
So although, this time brings me loneliness of that loss of contact with another human being, it has heightened my connection with the plant spirits.
'To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.'
William Blake "To See a World..."
(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence")
I'm always reminded to see the bigger picture, and I love this excerpt from William Blakes 'Auguries of Innocence' as a gentle reminder........there is always a sense of awe and wonder in everything we come into contact with. Macro-seeing reminds us of the beauty and the expanse of the natural world, and the Universe.....we as humans tend to only look at the surface. By doing this surface vision we miss out on the vastness and that sense of wonder and awe that every being gives.
By seeing with macro-vision, and sensing with just as much awe and wonder our lives become filled to bursting. Next time you get to hold a flower feel the delicate nature of the petals surrounding the pollen, supporting the plant, start to realise that you are holding something that is connected not only to the soil you are both standing on, but to the elements surrounding the both of you too. So holding another being in your hands connects us to everything within and without.
Everything is connected......
And who better to have as a companion through this time than my trusted fur ball Willow....a wonderful Collie who is constantly touching me with her paws or resting her head on my lap.
Connection with another being is so, so powerful.....we are never alone.